Uber and Lyft face their newest battle in Philadelphia

Brittany A. Roston - Oct 7, 2016, 6:23pm CDT
Uber and Lyft face their newest battle in Philadelphia

Uber and Lyft face their latest legal struggle in Philadelphia, where they were ordered yesterday night to stop operating. Both companies ultimately ignored the order and continued providing rides via their respective platforms; soon after, Uber got a small victory via a preliminary injunction that blocked the cease and desist order. That itself is only a temporary victory, though, and the company — as well as Lyft — face an uphill battle to get more friendly legislation established, otherwise they risk a similar order to cease operations in the future.

Uber, and to a lesser extent Lyft, have both faced troubles in cities around the world as their cheap and easily accessible ridesharing services undercut local taxi operators, the latter of whom usually have to get and maintain pricey licensing and insurance, among other things, to meet city transportation standards. More often than not, those driving for uberX and Lyft don’t meet the same standards, and that doesn’t sit well with taxi drivers.

In some cities, the issue has boiled over into outright rioting, with taxi drivers assaulting Uber drivers and/or vandalizing their vehicles, in some instances even become violent as bricks were lobbed off highway overpasses. Fortunately, no such rioting is taking place now; however, taxi drivers in Philadelphia have still been vocal about their opposition to both services, and that boiled over into the courts.

The cease and desist order was issued for both uberX and Lyft by the Common Pleas Court, where Uber has an appeal in place. During that appeal, the company has stated that it will continue to operate in the city. Not surprisingly, the order was the result of a lawsuit filed against the city’s parking authority on the behalf of Philly taxi drivers — neither of the ridesharing companies were named as defendants in the case, however.

For its part, Lyft told Philly.com:

Today’s hearing was about a case that did not involve Lyft and which Lyft was not given the opportunity to respond. We are reviewing the order and evaluation our legal options.

Starting October 17, the state legislators will reportedly begin working on establishing legislation for regulating services like Uber and Lyft. How long it could take before we see any regulations passed is unclear, however, the city’s taxi workers alliance has brought up numerous complaints that will also need to be addressed, including allegations that both Lyft and Uber underserve the city’s disabled due to lack of regulations forcing them to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

SOURCE: Philly.com, Engadget


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